President William Ruto and his Tanzanian counterpart Samia Suluhu Hassan have pledged to build on the existing foundations in improving ties between the two countries.
Addressing the media in Tanzania on Monday, Ruto said the bilateral discussions held earlier centred on enhancing ties between Kenya and Tanzania, including ways in which the two nations can gain from removing trade restrictions.
According to President Ruto, the first order of business once his cabinet is sworn in will be figuring out how the remaining 14 trade restrictions between Kenya and Tanzania can be lifted.
“I’m here to confirm that the good foundation laid when you took over and worked with my predecessor, I will build on that foundation to take our countries to the next level,” the President said.
In his speech, Dr Ruto claimed that the lowering of trade barriers between the two nations had given trade a much-needed boost.
Further, he seized the chance to refute the argument that Kenya would gain more from the removal of trade barriers between the two nations.
“When you (Suluhu) and Uhuru worked on barriers to trade, most people thought it would benefit Kenya, but it has benefited Tanzania more,” President Ruto added.
“It is clear increase in trade benefits everybody; that increase in trade is where we want to go, we want to double that trade,”
Ruto claimed that since some of the restrictions had been lifted, exports from Tanzania had increased from Ksh.27 billion to Ksh.50 billion while exports from Kenya had increased from Ksh.31 billion to Ksh.45 billion.
Along with trade, the two leaders also talked about ways to promote tourism between the two countries, as well as ways to curb trans-border terrorism.